It’s about that time! We’re back, people. That’s right, YWGAV is not dead – although we were on life support for awhile. It was pretty much a matter of life getting in the way; among all the various other dealios. I’ve got some great plans for 2014, though; and if you’re reading this, I’m really glad that you’ve either come back or just started reading.
So, here’s the deal. We’re going to take a look at the 30 best videos of the year for the fourth year in a row. You can find the starts of the previous lists here, here and here. Once you’re up to speed, we’ll get straight to it! Here, friends, are the top 30 videos of 2013.
WITH APOLOGIES TO: Every other Uncluded video (spoiler alert!), every other Lonely Island video, Beach House, Drake, Haim, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Tyler, the Creator, Lily Allen, Janelle Monae, Yo La Tengo, Violent Soho and Nick van Breda…
30. Arctic Monkeys – Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
Directed by Nabil
After a boozy night out with the boys, Alex Turner decides to wander over to the house of a girl he fancies. What follows is a brilliantly OTT look at the tricks that play on one’s mind when they are under the influence – or, in Alex’s case, a metric shit-tonne of influences. The direction and cinematography is sharp, the editing is brilliantly shambolic and it’s the best video they’ve made in years. Let’s just ignore the grammatical mess that is the song title and focus in on the video itself.
Read my original post on Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? here.
29. Major Lazer feat. Peaches & Timberlee – Scare Me
Directed by Brandon Dermer
For all of his action move macho madness, it’s easy to forget sometimes that Terry Crews is the exact kind of crazy and hilarious you’d want out of someone who thrives in such a gravely serious market. For every Expendables, there’s a role in Brooklyn Nine-Nine or teaming up with Tim & Eric on Old Spice ads. So it was a perfect choice to make Crews the live-action Major Lazer as the major is brought into a wild action-packed mission with cameos from The League‘s Nick Kroll, Workaholics‘ Blake Anderson and The Game‘s Lauren London. Kind of wish that this was a TV series – as if you wouldn’t follow the Major anywhere!
28. Darwin Deez – You Can’t Be My Girl
Directed by Keith Schofield
Genuine question: Did we all just completely forget that Darwin Deez existed? I could not tell you the last time I had heard his name before this clip came out. Whatever the case, he certainly made sure we didn’t forget about this brilliant little video. Inserting yourself into footage is nothing new – take the classic Gnarls Barkley video for Smiley Faces as the best possible example of how it’s done – but it’s safe to say that it’s never been done in quite the way that Deez and director Keith Schofield (Duck Sauce, Ladyhawke, Supergrass) took it on. Delving into a myriad of stock footage, it tells the story of a sociopathic onlooker venting his frustrations to anyone that will listen – or, in this case, completely ignore him. It’s about as strange and as remarkable as you’d expect.
27. The Lonely Island – Spring Break Anthem
Directed by Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone
A Lonely Island comeback year always means one thing: Shit-loads of videos. Andy, Jorm and Kiv were no strangers to Y,WGAV! readers in 2013, from the nightclub insanity of Go Kindergarten to the strange bragging rights of Diaper Money. The pick of the lot, however, was easily the original version of Spring Break Anthem. Starting off with a smashing Between Two Ferns highlight reel between host Zach Galifianakis and his guest James Franco, the two somehow end up in the fantasy realm of a Cancun spring break party hosted by TLI. If you know what’s coming next, then… well, you know. For those that didn’t see this the first time around, however… you’re in for a hell of a time.
Read my original post on Spring Break Anthem here.
26. Bloc Party – Ratchet
Directed by Cyriak
It seems like Bloc Party always wait until after they’ve released an album to drop a complete curveball on us. We got it with Flux and One More Chance for the last two albums, and then the hip-hop-flavoured Ratchet dropped in the wake of 2012’s Four album. With the band on break, it was time to dig into the archives – animator extraordinaire Cyriak took apart the videos for Octopus, Two More Years and Helicopter and literally created a monster out of them. Perhaps the single greatest re-use of a videography ever? I would wager so.
Read my original post on Ratchet here.
What do you think so far? Enjoying the videos? See you next week!
“Next to him, next to her, messages well-rehearsed…”
I honestly couldn’t give you many reasons to want to live in Canberra. It’s cold, it’s far away from everything, the live scene is more or less dead in the water and it’s fucking COLD! I’ve had some good nights in Canberra, I won’t lie, but it was made all the better knowing that I got to go home afterward. Anyway, what’s the point of all this? Well, there’s a nifty little rock band from Canberra called Super Best Friends. A couple of them (perhaps all three?) work in the Canberra Press Gallery, and used their positions to make a video for their new single pretty much from a day on the job. They asked a stack of pollies to appear in their video – and, amazingly, a lot of them did. Including the two most powerful men in Australian politics right now.
Straight up, I am giving SBF the most credit for their fucking balls. Imagine walking up to Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott or even fucking Bob Katter of all people and asking them to be a dick for the camera… well, intentionally, anyway. By some divine intervention, they made it happen; and that’s what Round and Round lives and dies on. It all flies by in the barely-two-minutes it takes for the song to play, and there’s plenty of laughs to go along with in the meantime. My highlights include Clive Palmer having no fucking idea what to do – a fitting inclusion, really – and Rob Oakeshott really getting into the spirit of things. I guess they’re not all evil, lying bastards who hate having fun and enjoy crushing those beneath them… not all the time, anyway.
“Shelter also gave their shade, but in the dark I have no name…”
A few things I’d like to talk about before I get onto today’s top video. Firstly, I just want to say how fucking bored I am with the hate towards Mumford and Sons. Trying to take them down a peg in 2013 is like trying to tell everyone how shit Britney is in 2007, or how slutty you think Ke$ha is in 2010. It’s lazy, it’s boring, it’s cheap, it’s Pavlovian, it’s unchallenging and it makes you sound like a dreary rock pig attempting to talk “street” with the “kids” about their “popular musics.” Just… just fucking shut up, okay? No-one thinks you’re clever – literally, if someone thinks you’re clever, they’re a no-one.
Point number two: As much as I fucking hate M&S hate (I’m not even a massive fan), I truly cannot stand bands that take themselves too seriously. It’s in this regard that I can sort of see where the backlash has come from for Marcus and the boys – by all means make “serious” music, but have your wits about you and never make it seem like what you’re doing is a chore. Loosen up, and learn to laugh at yourself – you and your music are never as important as you make them out to be.
Okay, so we’ve got both of those points out of the way: Let’s talk about this new Mumford and Sons video that you’ve no doubt seen busying your feed the past few days. In replacement of the four band members, four comedians have taken their place – namely Saturday Night Live‘s Jason Sudekis, The Hangover‘s Ed Helms, Arrested Development‘s Jason Bateman and MacGruber himself, Will Forte. I love all four of these guys on an individual basis, so perhaps I was always predisposed to enjoying this video. But holy hell, did these four go above and beyond the call of duty.
Hopeless Wanderer is by no means one of the better tracks on Babel, but much like OKGO, it’s not so much about the song. There’s too much fun to be had here to worry about something as petty as the song itself. There’s fake beards, fake tears and all-too-real makeout sessions. Bateman thrashes away on a banjo, Forte sways with his double bass and all four glide down the river in their boat. It’s never cruel or taunting, but it does give a very obvious nod to the fact that M&S aren’t always the most cheery of gents. Don’t worry yourself over something like whether you’re being “tricked” into liking Mumford and Sons. People attempting to tell you that are complete fucking morons. Just settle down, now. It’s only folk rock. They’re just comedians. Nobody’s going to get hurt, and that’s the most important thing.
“They say it kills, but they don’t know when…”
How’s this for multi-tasking? FIDLAR (Fuck It Dog, Life’s a Risk) are in Australia right now. They just played at Splendour in the Grass over the weekend and they’re playing in Sydney tomorrow night at the Oxford Art Factory (shameless plug, ticket still available etc). And yet, across on the other side of the world, they’re still managing to create a bit of chaos. How do they manage such a feat? Simple – they’ve just made a video for the last song on their awesome self-titled LP, and have brought out the big guns for it.
Yes, that grizzled bastard you see at the centre of Cocaine is none other than Ron Swanson himself, the hilarious man-beast that is Nick Offerman. Nearly unrecognisable with his salt-and-pepper beard, he begins the video by being told via text message that he’s been fired from his job. On his day off. While he’s in his shed. What follows is a furious, dick-swinging (literally) rampage across town. It’s puerile, it’s slightly gross and it’s more than a bit ridiculous. In other words, it’s right up my ally. What a fantastic effort from this collaboration. I’m going to be good for the rest of the year in the hope that we get it happening again before 2013 is all over.
Sick of The Lonely Island being on here yet? Don’t worry – now that Wack Wednesdays are over and The Wack Album is out for all to hear, this is the last time you’ll be seeing them… for a little while, at least. To get you completely up to date, I thought I’d drop the final Wack Wednesday video as well as the completed Go Kindergarten clip. Sound good? Well, it’s happening, whether you’re on board or not. I mean, I’m sorry to disappoint you and all, but… ahh, who am I kidding? I just dig the shit out of TLI.
Spell It Out is a very simple prospect. Andy Samberg decides to spell out his alias for us, which then takes up the entirety of the song. The letters fly by, so you’d do best to keep up with what’s happening or you’ll fall behind – and, in this instance, that’s not something that you want. Samberg hams it up for the camera in only a way he can really pull off – especially when the crowd surfing comes in for the last 20 seconds. It’s just such an unexpected finale, it works beautifully. As fun as it is, it just can’t compare to what follows in Go Kindergarten. It honestly ranks among their best clips – not only for the star power of P. Diddy and Paul Rudd (who is currently sex-panthering it up on the set of Anchorman 2), but for how far they take the song’s outrageous club-floor demands from a visual perspective. I also had a little squee over seeing Robyn back in action again – she sells her part to an absolute t; and looks drop-dead gorgeous to boot. There is almost too much to love about the Go Kindergarten video. Get amongst The Wack Album right now, and don’t forget who’s running that fake rap shit.
“I ain’t Snoop Dogg, but I’mma drop it like it’s hot…”
So, here is a collab that I didn’t see coming. In the red corner: Mr. Eric Wareheim. Despite their show ending a couple of years back, Tim & Eric have been pretty busy lately. They still tour the T&E show – which I got to see on my 22nd birthday last year – and are busy working away as content creators for the new Jash network on YouTube, also featuring Reggie Watts, Michael Cera and Sarah Silverman. Tim even found himself starring in what we thought was one of the best music videos of the year: Dinosaur Jr.‘s Watch the Corners.
In the blue corner: Major Lazer. These two dancehall kings have been firing up their unmistakable style of booty-bouncing hard-edged dance-pop for a few years now, but have really taken off with the success of last year’s Get Free and their debut album, Free the Universe, which dropped just a month or two ago. Fittingly enough, Diplo also scored himself one of the best videos of 2012 in Express Yourself, which launched one of the bigger dance crazes of the past 12-18 months – no easy feat given both the Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style dropped within this period.
So, what happens when the beardy-weirdy gets his hands on this alternate reality of future-disco? Well, it’s as hilarious as you’d expect from Eric, as ridiculous as you’d expect from Major Lazer and as mental as you’d expect from the pair of them. Wareheim takes us into a world of bored Brooklyn hipsters, who are visited by some sort of bootylicious Godzilla. The monster pumps them full of… well… the goods; and then all hell breaks loose. Bubble Butt blows everything out to epic proportions, in the same way that Express Yourself did but in a far more knowing, satirical form. I’m borderline obsessed with this clip; and with any luck you’ll find yourself in the same situation.
“I got that wife pussy, I got that pussy on lock…”
Back so soon? Yep! Another Wack Wednesday has been and gone, and we have another brand new video from The Lonely Island crew to get us in the mood for their third studio album, The Wack Album. So, we’ve already had a play on an overused phrase; as well as some brilliant contrasts between vacation hedonism and GLBT rights. Where do we go from here?
Pretty simple, folks. The time for kiddie games is over! We’re dealing with adults here! Ones that can afford to give their babies things to poop in! Adults that are married! Adults that have life insurance and a grave plot! This is some grown-ass man shit! It’s fitting, then, that the guys have made a video dedicated entirely to this remarkable premise. It’s a real breakthrough for TLI, and I have a feeling that you guys will have a great appreciation for it.
“Let’s get fucked up, then find Mr. Right and get monogamous…”
About damn time! Given their previous track record of releasing a record every other year, it’s new album season for The Lonely Island. We were teased earlier in the year with The Wack Album‘s lead single, YOLO (You Oughta Look Out), which featured hook man Adam Levine and the badass Kendrick Lamar. Unfortunately, Y,WGAV! missed out on that one – didn’t see it until it was too late! A real shame, given these guys are no strangers to this part of the internet. Still, no use worrying about that – we’ve got bigger issues at hand!
What issues, I hear you cry from the far reaches of wherever the fuck you’re reading this from? Two big ones, actually: Marriage equality and getting absolutely smashed on spring break. I think you’ll appreciate that both have been intensely discussed and debated recently, and there is certainly a world of controversy surrounding them. Through releasing Spring Break Anthem, TLI want to make sure we’re on board in support of both – and they make very convincing arguments. Hell, I was sold the second I realised that Andy Samberg had ditched Joanna Newsom in favour of getting hitched to Zach Galafianikis, who introduces the clip with a Between Two Ferns interview starring James Franco; who also finds himself getting married in the proceedings. God bless America!